With camaraderie and competition on full display, lively shouts of encouragement echoed throughout Clements Boys and Girls Club on Friday during the KISD Fall Invitational swim meet.
Coaches and teammates shouted “Go . . . Go . . . Go!!!” from the pool deck, and the swimmers certainly did just that, diving in and doing what they do best from wall to wall.
“It’s been a good day. It’s fun to watch them do their thing and to hear them cheer each other on,” a busy Ellison swim coach Lara Sursa said, in between assisting her pupils with various requests and keeping an eye on the next heat in the pool.
In all, 13 teams gathered into the facility on Trimmier Road, and the Killeen ISD contingent held its own while lowering times as the day went along.
“This swim meet has been amazing,” Killeen High coach Allixandria Bynum said. “Overall, our team has dropped times across the board. They are doing well and it’s good for them to see the hard work paying off.”
Austin Lasa was the combined team champion followed by Pflugerville Hendrickson and Hutto. Ellison was next, followed by Harker Heights and Shoemaker.
Top-three performances on the boys side included Ellison’s Clayton Sursa outlasting the field in the 100-yard freestyle for first; Connor Bratton of Chaparral claiming the top spot in the 500 free; a second-and-third place finish from Ellison and Harker Heights, respectively, in the 200-yard medley relay; James Sporluck’s runner-up finish in the 200 free for the Knights; Ja’Shaun Rivera-Edwards gliding in for second place in the 500 free for the Grey Wolves; and Harker Heights’ 200 free relay squad placing third.
On the girls side, Ellison’s Elizabeth Kinsey touched first in the 100 breaststroke; Christine Kim of Chaparral, a state qualifier last season, finished second in the 50 free; Harker Heights’ Jade Lowe was third in the 100 butterfly; Ellison’s Alyssa Ifill, a state qualifier last season, took second and Kim third in the 100 free; Shoemaker’s Madelyn Dixon and Chaparral’s Jaela Micka went 2-3 in the 500 free; and Trinity Cutbirth of Shoemaker was second in the 100 backstroke.
“We made some good progress this meet,” Chaparral coach Tawnya Roupe said. “We had some new personal bests –– our boys 200-free relay lowered its school-record time to 1:53.20 –– and some kids swam events they hadn’t before.”
The next chance to catch the five schools together as hosts and soak in the overflowing team spirit at Clements Boys and Girls Club is Saturday, Dec. 16 in the KISD Mary Jobe Winter Classic, which also will serve as a teacher appreciation event.
Photos by Todd Martin